View Full Version : Question Brockhouse trailer brake operation

26-02-2012, 17:59
I have a living van which I am led to believe is converted from a WW2 radar van. It has torsion bar suspension and a rounded roof. I am considering getting it out of the shed and towing it behind my Matador and am thinking about how the van brakes would be linked to the truck. The trailer has hydraulic brakes on each wheel operated by a master cylinder/reservoir on the inside of the chassis. The operation of the brakes can either be via a rachet handle for parking or a pull rod which goes along the chassis towards the drawbar end. I assume that the rod would be connected to a bowden cable and through to the trailer brake air cylinder fitted to the rear of the Matador. I would be grateful for any opinions regarding this setup. Have I made the correct assumption? Are the cables and fittings available?

Goncalo Mendes
02-03-2012, 09:12

Is it possible to post photos of your trailer?
Is is a rare item, that doesn't appear many times!


Best cumpliments,


02-03-2012, 19:10
I can only find one picture of the van . I bought it from Glossops at Hipperholme where it had been used as living accommodation for men working with their road burners. It is fitted with bunks and a stove. By the time I bought the trailer in the early eighties, the road burners, which were pulled with Scammell Pioneers, had become obsolete due to the introduction of planers. In the yard, about six Scammells were lined up and were for sale at 200 each. As far as I know, no buyers came forward and they all went to Hemmingways for breaking. I don't think any of the other vans-there were about 3-survived either. I was told that a farmer had bought them as a source of tyres and weighed the rest in for scrap.

Bran D
02-03-2012, 21:21
By the time most of these got into the 1950's and beyond they had air brakes. Are there any air brake components like reservoirs, etc? some had a conversion with air over hydraulic so the towing vehicle would have air that was converted to hydraulic operation on the trailer.

03-03-2012, 19:38
The trailer never had any signs of an air braking system, nor did any of the others in Glossop's yard. I am not sure what towed the living vans around, the road burner unit or one of the tippers that took away the lifted tarmac but I would be surprised if they bothered coupling up the brakes. They considered the vans to weigh 1.5 tons, so not really a significant load.